Nov 10

Replacing the Fresnel on my melted Nikon SB-800

Ok, back in September I melted the fresnel on my SB-800. I called up Nikon Repair and they sent me Part SS060-27 Fresnel Lens and SS060-28 Acrylic Panel. The parts were on backorder but they finally got to me. Now the flash did work just fine while melted, no problems at all but the parts cost me less than $20 so what the heck. First off, Nikon says that these repairs should not be done yourself and should be sent to a Nikon repair facility. This is what I did to save me a bit of cash. This should not be attempted. Ok, that's my disclaimer. 🙂 I am mechanically inclined and spent years of my childhood taking apart toys and gadgets and years repairing cars. So here is what it looks like, pretty sad isn't it? Don't worry it won't look like that for long. {RepairSB-800} {RepairSB-800} {RepairSB-800} As you can see the unmelted flash is on the left and the melted one is on the right. Below is the parts list and diagram for the SB-800 that Nikon was nice enough to include per my request. To be honest, it didn't help me much, I think it's missing a few things so it really isn't all that helpful for me but it might be very helpful to see. Make sure that the batteries are removed first. SB-800 Diagram {RepairSB-800} {RepairSB-800} Ok, to begin I removed the two screws as shown in the photos, I used a #0 phillips head Craftsman screwdriver . {RepairSB-800} {RepairSB-800} {RepairSB-800} After the two screws are removed, than remove the rubber pieces on both sides of the flash head and remove 2 screws on the side of the flash head that were on the same side as the 2 that was removed earlier. NOTE: I did not remove all 4 at this time, only 2 of them. (no pictures of that, sorry) {RepairSB-800} {RepairSB-800} {RepairSB-800} {RepairSB-800} I couldn't fully remove the lid to the flash head, I have no idea what was holding it together but I was able to make a separation large enough to remove the melted pieces. There is a notch in the housing that the fresnel can fit, it can only properly fit in 1 direction. If it does not close together securely, flip the pieces around. Please see the notch in the 3rd photo below. {RepairSB-800} {RepairSB-800} {RepairSB-800} During the reinstall, the push button spring and tab will need to be put back in, this is very simple. Just remove all 4 screws on the side, put the spring in, the metal holding tab, and secure it. Following that put the rubber pieces back in, they too can only fit 1 way, look for the notches and they will be just fine. {RepairSB-800} {RepairSB-800} Then it's all done. Below is the new side by side shot with the replaced parts and a testing shot of the flash, no problems at all. {RepairSB-800} Side by Side {RepairSB-800} Good As New {RepairSB-800} Test shot, looks like it works just fine. Here is it part that melted, they are actually fused together, I couldn't get them apart. You can also see how much they warped! {RepairSB-800} {RepairSB-800} Remember, Nikon said do not do this yourself.
  • Nichelardo Cramrod

    Hey, I just wanted to say thank you for posting the parts diagram. Its people like you that make the internet great. Keep up the good work.

  • Robert Lang

    Thank you for the instructions and photos. Did Nikon happen to send you the other part page for the pieces that slide out from the top of the lens housing? Its a diffuser and a white reflective square.

  • Chain

    Actually sou dont need to remove gubber caps. ive replaced the lens with jous two tiithpicks from each side. flash head will make nice V and there is enough place on top to replace it.

  • Chain

    lot of typos, sorry for that

  • http://www.robgreer.com Rob Greer

    How did you re-attach the rubber pieces? It looks like they were originally glued onto the flash.

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  • Gianni_Paris

    Hiya and well done. Remember though that the reason why Nikon discourages you (and everyone else infact) from diying the repair comes from the fact that…you can kill yourself in the process if you open your flash ehmmm more thank you should. I once tried the discharge from a partially discarged capacitor of a tiny flash (GN 12 or even less I believe) and felt my heart racing totally out of control I really believe I was going to die!!! I don’t even want to start thinking what can happen should you, heaven forbid touch any wrong wires (the ones you REALLY shouldn’t touch!!) from an SB-800. Went well this time as you did not open more than needed your flash unit but I would certainly discourage anyone who is not really equipped (capacitor discharger and so on…) to open ANY flash unless you really know what you are doing.

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  • http://littleraskal.com Manuel Trosper

    Your photos and blog are just great. As a wedding and portrait photographer in San Jose, I know that it’s challenging photographing outstanding pictures. I’ll be checking more often.

  • Fredv

    I Just completed this repair.  Genuine Nikon parts from Ebay. It took me 15 minutes. Now, the top side of the flash case is warped due to the heat. That part is available too.  I did not replace it. The only impact is that the new lenses went back in a bit snugger as the lenses and case originally melted as one.  I don’t see any issue with the way that it is now.

    Thank you for all of the instructions and photos.

    BTW:  The rubber rounds….I put them back as-is.  They seem to be staying even with less adhesive.   If necessary, I will find a better way maybe using sticky rubber dots or similar.